Twelve drivers representing FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) operating companies placed among the top finishers at the 2012 Mississippi State Truck Driving Championship in Gulfport on April 27-28.
Tommy Boyanton, a driver for FedEx Freight domiciled in Jackson, captured the top spot in the 3-Axle class for his fourth state title. He also earned the Grand Champion title for achieving the highest score among the winners of all classes and the Best Pre-Trip Inspection.
Randy Byrd, also a Jackson-based driver for FedEx Freight, won the Twins class for his fifth state title.
Jason Matte, a FedEx Freight driver based in Jackson, posted first place for the Tank Truck class. Matte was the 2010 National Champion in the 4-Axle class.
FedEx Express driver Jerry Robinette (Meridian) took first in the 5-Axle Sleeper class.
Ruston Wilson, a driver for FedEx Ground independent service provider B&C Massengale, Inc. stationed in Hattiesburg, took home the first-place trophy in the Step Van class.
John Smith Jr., owner of JSJ Trucking, Inc. based at the FedEx Ground location in Tupelo, posted second in the Tank Truk class.
Will McQueen (Meridian) and Terry Young (Grenada), posted second-place finishes in the 4-Axle and Step Van classes, respectively. Both are drivers for FedEx Freight.
Don Nehring, a driver for Trent Webb, Inc. (Memphis), Aaron Forkum, owner of A&J Delivery Inc. (Olive Branch), and Will Rone, a driver for Groundhogz Logistics, Inc. (Olive Branch), posted third-place finishes in the 3-Axle, Straight Truck and Twins classes, respectively.
Bobby Lane, a FedEx Freight driver based in Jackson, finished third in the 5-Axle class.
Boyanton, Byrd, Matte, Robinette and Wilson will go on to compete at the American Trucking Associations’ 2012 National Truck Driving Championships (NTDC), known as the “Super Bowl of Safety,” August 7-11 in Minneapolis, Minn. In addition, each state winner will be recognized by FedEx as part of its safe driving initiative, The Chairman’s Challenge.
“The entire team of drivers representing FedEx are dedicated to safety. It is an integral part of everything they do,” said Frederick W. Smith, chairman, president and CEO, FedEx Corp. “The performance of these participants at the Mississippi championship is a testament to their commitment to safety excellence.”
The Mississippi State Truck Driving Championship is an opportunity for professional truck drivers to demonstrate their driving skills and safety expertise. The event includes a difficult driving skills test, pre-trip inspection and written examination covering vehicle operation and knowledge of federal safety regulations.
In 2011, 115 driving professionals from 45 states representing FedEx Freight, FedEx Ground, FedEx Express, and FedEx Custom Critical qualified to compete at the National Truck Driving Championships by winning their respective state's competition and driving accident-free for at least one year. One FedEx competitor captured the National Champion title in the Step Van class. In addition, FedEx drivers earned nine additional top-three finishes in their respective vehicle classes.